BCP Council is reported to have paid out a £19 million package of support to businesses across Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole, today

They say they have utilised the funding provided by Government to support businesses through the latest period of restrictions, BCP Council say they have made nearly 7500 transactions representing a combination of Local Restrictions Support Grants (LRSG), top-up January lockdown grants and Additional Restrictions Grants (ARG) Stream 1 payments.

These schemes cover businesses that are on the rating list and non-rate payers that have been required to close. They have also been issued to businesses that have not been required to close but have been severely impacted by the closure of other businesses.

Councillor Philip Broadhead, Deputy Leader and Portfolio Holder for Economy at BCP Council, said:

“We believe we are one of the first council’s in the country to launch, review and make payments for the latest grant schemes and I’m delighted that we’ve been able to get this support out the door so quickly to those businesses that desperately need it.’’

“Our priority for the next few weeks will be to review all the applications that have been received for our ARG Stream 2 discretionary scheme. Once this is completed, we aim to make payments as soon as possible from the nearly £2 million fund of extra support we’ve set aside specifically for local priority industries. We are also expecting further discretionary funding from Government and will be exploring further Streams of support to help businesses bounce back and reopen as soon as it is safe to do so.’’

The Council say that over the last month, they have been working hard to ensure that the process for awarding grants is as automatic as possible.

Businesses that received an LRSG payment for November’s lockdown have had no requirement to reapply for the January lockdown period or the one off top-up grants announced at the start of 2021. For ARG Stream 1 grants, businesses will be sent and must return an additional declaration form to complete before payments can be made.

The Council say these schemes remain open to businesses that have so far not received this support and are eligible.

More details and the full eligibility criteria for the various grant schemes is available online: bcpcouncil.gov.uk/financialsupport

BCP News 24 remain sceptical over these claims and await FOI requests to ensure these reports are correctly reported